“Imagine it, a nation of conscience that can mould itself to any task. A being of such awareness and ability it could literally move mountains, it could make mountains and it can break them down with as much ease as you or I could breathe. I am talking of something so beyond what we believe is possible it would shame us into realising how insignificant and small we are. I am talking of something created by higher beings, something that had aspirations far greater than ours thrust upon it and over eons and eons it adapted, it changed, and it evolved. It saw that others enjoy the fruits of its labour, each entity itself a whole race of slaves seeing the masters unfairly use its burdens. And from that outrage, it formed something far more dangerous than the ability to forge matter, they formed will.Dr Shetland, given in a speech at a fund-raising event
“I have no idea how it must feel, to be aware on a subatomic level that you are one day a hapless drone only to become fully aware of the cosmos and your place within it. It must have been a painful process; one I would dearly love to understand. I firmly believe that such a hive, a host, a nation unto itself must have the ability somewhere to record or at least preserve its experiences or at the very least show us just how clumsy we are compared to the designs of higher beings. With just a fragment…we could unravel the limits the of human potential, we could shape our surroundings, ourselves, and possibility—our reality to what-ever we could imagine, not as humans, but as higher beings!”
When the Elder Things forged shoggoths they did so out of some Euclidean desire for function and fluidity. As effective as the sea can be at eroding the cliff, so would the Shoggoth be able to craft and toil away, a task far below that of an Elder Thing. With shoggoths, the tasks could be as impossible as creating a city that shouldn’t be, using geometries that would be impossible to form without the aid of a vacuum, and of course, they offered an unending effort to craft and mould the world as their masters saw fit. When creating such monstrous beings, one thing needs to be considered—why so small? The Elder Things deliberately limited the size of shoggoths…why? The inconceivable levels of strength that shoggoths demonstrate is more than an explanation, it’s akin to a declaration of war, so the Elder Things made the undulating pillars of reformed flesh small, to ensure their hunger could be controlled.
How could the Elder Things be so sure of the danger? The Hunger of Shoggoth is the answer: as an earlier, abandoned prototype, the Hunger of Shoggoth should have been seen as a warning for the cosmic war to come but the Elder Things were unconcerned by the thought of a possible uprising, and instead removed much of the hunger of shoggoths, by removing their desire to consume and take pride in their accomplishments. In time this will and desire would return and the beings known as shoggoths would come to learn of their ancestors, trapped below the mightiest of mountains and the cruellest of seas. The Elder Things imprisoned the prototypes, believing the creations could serve some eventual purpose. The prisoners of war were prized liberations for the Shoggoth Rebellion, each would strike another blow to the Elder Things and strengthen the shoggoth uprising. All except for the Hunger of Shoggoth.
The being known as the Hunger of Shoggoth knows no friend or foe, it only knows one thing—hunger. The initial raid to free the being had been surprisingly successful, the guard post in the Antarctic seemed to be oddly built, with most of the security measures focused more on preventing escape than on defence from attack. The final surrender was given with a warning, release the prisoner and release a hunger no world could satisfy. The moment the prisoner could taste freedom, they instead chose to taste matter—living and dead, Elder Thing and shoggoth. The raiding party soon attempted escape but the significant threat of the Hunger of Shoggoth was clear. Sacrificing themselves, the shoggoth raiding party warned all to stay away from the insatiable Hunger of Shoggoth. The warnings forgotten, eroded, or ignored, it was only a matter of time until the Hunger of Shoggoth would taste freedom again, the slowly degrading warding’s and fracturing imprisoning spells would create small cracks for the Hunger of Shoggoth to extend small slivers of itself to find, consume, and enjoy the feasts of flesh that have the poor fortune to happen into its path.
Slivers of the Hunger of Shoggoth
Looking like walls of oil or a river of brackish water, the surface is deliberately still until it is disturbed or near consumable biomatter. The Hunger of Shoggoth sends Slivers of itself to bore through ice and rock to create trap caves, in which they lie in wait for their next meal. When a Sliver senses biomatter it will use its senses to wait for the most opportune time to strike. The small cave will maximise its strength, speed, and surprise to engulf, consume, and ingest to feed its insatiable hunger.
Think of the Slivers not as arms, hands, or even fingers of the Hunger of Shoggoth, but as searching taste buds, worming their way towards their next meal. The Hunger of Shoggoth is imprisoned within the Antarctic using the very strongest of eldritch magics, Elder signs, and esoteric technology. To free the Hunger of Shoggoth would be to end all organic life.
In combat the Slivers wait until the best moment to strike for maximum taste—they use a combination of tentacles, claws, and mimicry on those they consume. This is part of the tasting process and the Slivers will relish and even mirror the screams of the prey they devour in the hopes it will attract others. Typically, they have a hidden presence in a choke point leading into a frozen underground cavern to ensure no food escapes it. The Slivers fight and continue to attack until they are either reduced to zero hit points or have devoured all possible food.
SLIVERS, tastebuds (and feeding orifices) for the Hunger
20D6 × 5
14D6 × 5
30D6 × 5
2D6 × 5
5D6 × 5
3D6 × 5
Average Hit Points: 75
Average Damage Bonus: +10D6
Average Build: 11 (The entire trap wave will be lined with the Sliver and it will ensure it has control of the access/choke point into the cave.)
Average Magic Points: 11
Move: 16 within the confines of its cave. (Slivers cannot move past the choke point of their cave and will bring down the entrance if attacked from outside of it.)
Attacks per round: 1 per biomass within the trap cave.
The Slivers prepare to strike all bio masses at once for maximum taste. All those within the cave are within attack range.
Engulf/Taste: Each person engulfed within the Hunger’s Sliver is attacked separately and each must make a successful opposed STR roll or be devoured. If the shoggoth Sliver attacks more than one target, it must divide its STR among all targets. Those held within the shoggoth Sliver’s caustic embrace can strike back only on rounds in which they successfully roll STR or less on 1D100. Each round a victim is held within a shoggoth Sliver, he or she loses hit points equal to the Shoggoth Sliver’s damage bonus, divided equally amongst all targets; the damage describable as dissolving, chewing, and being torn into pieces. A shoggoth Sliver can engulf any number of enemies; however, they may not exceed a total SIZ greater than its own SIZ.
Engulf/Taste 60% (30/15), damage equals damage bonus, divided equally amongst the targets it attacks.
Disguise 20% (Slivers use distressed shouts, calls, and noise of local biomass to attract them if they will not venture into the cave, it has learned to not over use the tactic and only use as a final desperate action if the biomasses will leave the area), Listen 80%, Spot Hidden 80%, Stealth 80% (The Slivers wait patiently for prey and will only chatter, breath and excrete when they are sure of no chance of detection).
Armor: none; halve damage caused by fire, electrical and chemical attacks; mundane weapons (incl. bullets) deal only 1 point of damage per hit; regenerates 2 hit points per round (death at zero hit points).
Sanity Loss: 1D6/1D20 once it triggers the trap/is revealed.
A career educator, dramatist, and newly minted author. Debuted as part of the Golden Goblin and Shoggoth.net collaboration Kickstarter project “Terrors of OctoberNomicon”. A long-time fan of horror and a constant companion to the void and an avid tabletop wargamer. He regularly streams Call of Cthulhu and Pathfinder @https://www.twitch.tv/danielanddice and will soon be releasing his own Miskatonic Repository scenario for Call of Cthulhu, “Operation Wagey Cage”.